'Nothing About Us Without Us' - 350.org and allies bring to COP26 the voices from people on the frontlines

09 11 2021 | 13:00

Glasgow -- This Monday, 350.org and allies held a series of actions inside the COP26 venue highlighting the fact that voices critical to the UN negotiations have been effectively shut out of the space or have had to face many challenges to come to Glasgow and attend the climate talks. Campaigners held a banner saying ‘Nothing about us without us’, whilst playing recorded messages from those who haven’t been able to come to Glasgow and hearing from speakers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Cameroon, and Sri Lanka.

"The climate crisis has affected a lot of people, especially in poor countries. Here in the Philippines we now experience massive floods, landslides, heavy rains, extremely hot weather and water scarcity. My family and I suffer when strong typhoons hit us at this time of the year, and our homes and communities get flooded." Princess Panotes, from John Dewey School for Children, Philippines

"I don't want these false solutions, I want real solutions, and for developed countries to get to real zero as soon as possible. This COP must demonstrate concrete actions to match the scale of this crisis, including phasing out all support for coal, oil and gas, increasing climate finance, and delivering a just transition for workers and communities." Theiva Lingam, Regional Facilitator for Friends of the Earth Asia Pacific region, from Malaysia

"My name is Jonathan Feijó, and I speak from Brazil. I am one more of the young blacks from the global South who is not physically at COP because of the pandemic and also because of the environmental racism that places us on the margins of the climate debate. Still, I want you to hear my message. We, the communities on the front lines and those most impacted by climate change, demand that world leaders and financial institutions spare no effort to keep the earth's temperature below 1.5 degrees, and above all, to put people first." Jonathan Feijó, young activist from Eco Pelo Clima, Fridays For Future Brazil

"To every individual in position of power, to bring about a positive change, the climate crisis is all around us. We have seen massive floods, storms, droughts, everywhere. Farmers in my area are facing its effects leading to a food crisis. We have all the solutions in front of us. All we need is immediate inclusive action right now." Frayashti Shekhawat from We the Young, India

"There is a great danger that the voices of the most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis and those who most need to be at the table at the COP will be excluded this year because of the pandemic and the brutal vaccine inequity that pervades our world. We, as frontline communities that are hardest hit by the climate crisis, demand that world leaders and financial institutions move at the scale and the speed necessary for all of us to stay below 1.5 degrees. To all the leaders gathered in Glasgow, I ask you to put people to the front at the climate talks." Yeb Saño, Executive Director Greenpeace Southeast Asia, from the Philippines

"The UK is hosting the most exclusionary COP ever. We are facing a global pandemic made worse by the UK and other northern countries who are refusing the vaccine patent waivers which are needed by many of our countries to produce life-saving vaccines, so that people's lives can be saved from this pandemic. Besides that, the constantly changing quarantine rules and visa requirements mean that many global South voices cannot be there in Glasgow with many of you. The COP is an exclusive place at the best of times, but this year's particular situation and arrangements made by the UK government mean that people who normally can be there to hold those in power accountable this time could also not be there. We need to be challenging and disrupting the power relations to be able to stop this climate crisis." Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth Mozambique

"Sri Lanka is one the most affected countries by climate change. Throughout the year we face severe climate impacts including floods, droughts and landslides. In past years I have been part of the Friends of the Earth International delegation representing the South. Like many other southern people, this year I am going to miss COP26 because I'm not sure about the safety during the talks. The pandemic is still ongoing and the cases are rising in Glasgow and across the UK. Only about 60% of the population in Sri Lanka is vaccinated. The UK government failed to honor a pledge to offer COVID vaccine to all delegates. I want to tell the UK government and the UNFCCC that they cannot ignore the voices of the South and make agreements with the North when many in southern communities are the most affected and vulnerable." Hemantha Withanage, from Sri Lanka, Chairperson of Friends of the Earth International

Images of the action can be found HERE



8 November 2021